Feds reject idea to toll I-80
The Federal Highway Administration, ruling in September 2008, rejected the Legislature’s plan to raise $1 billion a year to fund transportation projects by turning Interstate 80 over to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and building toll booths along its length.
The FHA questioned whether the Turnpike’s proposed payments to PennDOT reflected an “objective market valuation” of the highway. “There is simply no evidence that the lease payments are related to the actual costs of acquiring an interest in the facility,” the FHA said at the time. One opponent of the plan, Republican U.S. Rep. John Peterson of Pennsylvania, responded to the ruling:
“The ‘closed for business’ sign has been removed from Pennsylvania.” Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell urged lawmakers to consider leasing the turnpike to a private firm, another plan that died.